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Afghanistan and Iraq: What US Democratic Debates Show

Afghanistan and Iraq: What US Democratic Debates Show? The US Democratic Party held the second round of debate before 2020 election. In their speeches

Afghanistan and Iraq: What US Democratic Debates Show

The US Democratic Party held the second round of debate before the 2020 election. In their speeches, potential rivals of Donald Trump paid a lot of attention to national security issues. And in the positions of the democrats on many issues, there are trends in the changing approaches of Washington to international problems. What the Democrats are proposing fundamentally in comparison with Trump’s policy

This past week in Detroit, the second round of the debate of the US Democratic Party, by definition, who will fight with the US President Donald Trump in the upcoming elections in 2020, made 20 nominees for the nomination and this has not happened in US history.

The main rivals, according to the expectations of sociologists, will be former US Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. The Website conducted detailed online reports of the first and second day of the debate.

And if the discussion of national security issues was virtually absent in the first round of debates of the Democrats, which took place in Miami, then there was plenty of such comments in Detroit, though they mostly boiled down to attacks on Donald Trump,

  • And although health policy and immigration reforms still dominated, the moderators dedicated a small part of the nearly six-hour two-part event to foreign military threats and current US military operations.

Afghanistan: leave or stay

Many presidential candidates were asked whether they would withdraw US forces (forces) from Afghanistan during their first term as head of state, thus ending the almost 18-year-old armed conflict. John Hickenlooper Jr., the ex-governor of Colorado, was the only one who said that he would keep the peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan somewhat smaller than the current contingent of 14,000 soldiers and officers.

"If we completely withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, you will see a humanitarian catastrophe in this country,

  • - he said. - We have to stay in Afghanistan. Look at the progress that has taken place in this state. Are we going to turn away and get away from people who risked their lives to help us and build a different future for Afghanistan and this part of the world? ”

  • Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey proposed a similar option, stating that setting an “artificial deadline” for any withdrawal of troops could “create a power vacuum and a breeding ground for terrorism in Afghanistan.” But he undertook to send American troops home "as quickly as possible" during the election debates.

  • However, he criticized Trump for his style of government, in particular, to announce the start of hostilities in social networks. Senator Corey Booker said at the same time: “I do not intend to carry out a foreign policy through Twitter.”

  • Other US presidential candidates in this debate considered that US participation in Afghan affairs should immediately cease.
“We will leave. We have to do it ",

  • - said the mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg, the only current presidential candidate who served in the military in Afghanistan (in the US Navy reserve).

  • He also promised a three-year moratorium on any new permits for the use of US forces to prevent possible military actions by the US Armed Forces abroad in the future.

  • The congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, who had previously served in the National Guard in Iraq, also said that she would return troops "during my first year in office because they should not have been there for so long."

  • Senator Bernie Sanders was asked why voters should believe his promises not to let America become a “world gendarme” because Trump made a similar promise, but the implementation of this election thesis in practice turned out to be very problematic.

“We need a diplomatic oriented foreign policy,” said Sanders, citing the length of the war in Afghanistan. “Cessation of conflicts should be carried out by people who sit at the negotiating table and not kill each other.”

Ex-congressman from the state of Texas Beto O'Rourke repeated this opinion: “The time has come to bring our servicemen home from Afghanistan, as well as from Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria. We have no reason to carry out such a military presence around the world. ”

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North Korea: out of step with the world

  • Minnesota State Senator Amy Klobuchar and Member of the House of Representatives Tim Ryan from Ohio expressed their views on the Donald Trump talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

  • Ryan accused the US president of a zero-impact meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He said that the head of the White House gave the dictator "global authority." And this happened, in his opinion, without any real benefit for Washington.

  • “Diplomacy is a long and tedious job,” he said. - Much is being done in this area outside the camera lenses. And as president, you have to watch over it and be very disciplined, and every day. Do not be led by Kim Jong-un, thereby giving the dictator vast foreign policy preferences. ”

  • However, Senator Amy Klobuchar during the election the campaign said she wanted to leave open the possibility of meeting with any world leader in the hope of avoiding military conflict.

  • “What I don’t like is how this president handles all of this,” said Amy Klobuchar. According to her, at present, there is a situation in which only one US president keeps pace and the rest of the world does not.

“ Donald Trump led us out of the climate change the agreement, the Iranian nuclear agreement, the Russian nuclear agreement, and I disagree with that. When meeting with leaders of other countries, it is still better to have a clear agenda for further discussion ",

- declared Amy Klobuchar.

Nuclear weapons: strike first or not

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and the governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, during their campaign objected to preemptive nuclear strikes from the United States. Warren said she was completely against this idea.

“The United States does not intend to use nuclear weapons preventively, and we have to tell the whole world about it,” she said.

  • “This reduces the likelihood that someone will misunderstand or appreciate our actions, which theoretically could lead to unpredictable consequences in the event of a nuclear conflict,” Warren added.

  • But Bullock said he did not want to give up this option. At the same time, he stressed that he wants to focus more on diplomacy, and not on threats in US foreign policy. But with respect to preventive nuclear strikes, Bullock said that "at this stage, I would say no."

Other problems

Writer Mary Williamson did not directly ask any questions about national security, but she said that

America’s national defense today is “more determined by the short-term profit of defense contractors than by genuine peace consolidation.”

  • Both Hawaii congressman Tulsi Gabbard and Colorado senator Michael Bennett mentioned during the US current expenditure debate on foreign military operations, suggesting that these billions of dollars are still better spent to solve priority domestic problems.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden called his vote, served in the time for the war in Iraq, a “bad decision” and said that he was against the growth of the combat and size of the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan, which occurred when he worked in the Oval Office of the White House.

  • Gabbard said that, as a soldier who served in Iraq, she believes that they “lied to us” about the goals of an armed invasion of this country.

"The policy of the new US President from the Democratic Party, if it happens, will largely be built on the denial of the results of the activities of Donald Trump as head of the White House",

  • - explained Sergei Oznobishchev, director of the Institute of Strategic Assessments in an interview with Website

  • As the source noted, unfortunately, this has become a new American political tradition. Previously, there was still some continuity in the main areas of foreign policy activity in the United States. In particular, this related to arms control. Previously, in the eyes of the world community, America represented itself as a country that always respects the agreements reached earlier. And today, not only the entire international security system has been destroyed, but even relations with Washington’s many allies.

  • Donald Trump, according to Oznobishchev, was more likely to be a destroyer than a creator. For example, he simply rearmed the Middle East with a single transfer of the US embassy in Israel. As for Iran, here the head of the White House also significantly changed the layouts. With such difficulty, a final document on a nuclear deal was prepared on the basis of numerous compromises, which Trump didn’t read for sure, but the US President destroyed everything that was done just overnight.

As for the democrats, the source believes, they are more consistent in foreign policy. This does not mean that they will be more pleasant for Russia.

  • As for the continuity of foreign policy, arms control, relations with allies, it will be a return to traditional and predictable American foreign policy, said Oznobishchev. At the same time, one should not expect any sharp improvement in relations between Moscow and Washington. US policy will continue to have a pronounced anti-Russian character.

  • “I think that the next round of the debate on the US presidential election from the Democratic Party clearly demonstrates the fact that American hegemony in a strategic perspective is coming to an end,” Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for European and International Studies, told Website

As noted by the source publication, this is due to the fact that

within the United States, support for expansionist and hegemonic policies are weakening, both in the Republican camp and in the Democratic camp.

  • Let's pay attention - not a single presidential candidate from the US Democratic Party spoke about the need to increase the American global military presence, to pursue a fierce expansionist policy, to spread democracy by military means - this discourse simply disappeared.

  • This does not mean that as a result of the coming to power of any of the Democrats, a radical rejection of this policy will occur, but during the election campaign, this is no longer mentioned, as neo-isolationist sentiments intensify inside American society, Suslov states.

  • They are amplified by the Republicans (and Donald Trump played very skillfully on them at one time) and by the Democrats. And so Democratic candidates also talk about a more moderate foreign policy, about reducing the US, including military, presence, particularly in Afghanistan, and stress that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake.

  • Despite the difference in presentation styles, there is no fundamental difference between the common denominator of the Democrats and the foreign policy that the current administration is pursuing today, Suslov said.

Of course, the Democrats will pursue a more multilateral foreign policy. They will give more respect to multilateral transactions such as SAPI, they will pay more attention to international organizations, including the UN.

  • At the same time, both Donald Trump and democratic candidates talk about the need to fight against opponents of the United States, including the fight against China. Joe Biden, for example, has already said that he will pursue a hard line both in relation to China and to Russia.

  • If the Democratic candidate comes to power in 2020, the continuity will largely be preserved, but it is significant that American society already does not support this expansionist policy of the United States. And the debate very clearly shows.

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